Has there ever been a time when the fear of a whiteboarding interview made your heart race?
Whiteboarding interviews require candidates to write code on a whiteboard or paper so that the interviewer can assess their problem-solving approach. These interviews can feel daunting as they demand spontaneous problem-solving without prior knowledge of the challenge. On top of that, you must explain your solution to the interviewer.
No need to fear! In this blog post, we are breaking down whiteboard interviews and prepping for success—check out 9 tips and top-notch practice resources.
A whiteboarding interview is a common evaluation method used by tech companies during the hiring process, especially for positions in software engineering and related fields. It involves a candidate solving a coding problem or designing a system on a whiteboard, often in front of one or more interviewers.
During whiteboard interviews, employers assess the following elements of the candidates:
In short, whiteboarding interviews provide a more interactive and real-time assessment of a candidate's problem-solving skills and coding ability. They focus on evaluating how candidates think on their feet and handle pressure.
In contrast, take-home assignments allow candidates to work on problems independently. These assessments demonstrate their ability to produce polished and well-thought-out solutions without time constraints. To learn more about mastering take-home assignments, click here.
Preparing for your upcoming whiteboard interviews demands a strategic approach. The following tips are ideal for cracking the coding interview with confidence.
Interviews can be daunting, especially when the spotlight is on you. To ease the pressure and impress your interviewer, practice whiteboarding before your interview. No need to tackle complex problems; simply walk yourself through your daily tasks, honing your communication and problem-solving skills.
Whether in person or through a videoconferencing platform like Zoom, preparing for a remote whiteboard interview is crucial. Be sure to clarify the conferencing app with the interviewer. Choose a distraction-free environment and keep a notepad handy for essential notes.
This one is important! Before diving into the solution, always discuss the problem with your interviewer. Repeat the question in your own words and seek clarity on any assumptions. Remember, asking questions reflects your understanding and gives you more time to strategize your response.
Once the problem is clear, start crafting your solution by outlining the inputs, functions, and expected outputs. Remember to consider any edge cases that might disrupt your functions.
Present your solution with pseudocode, allowing you to convey your thoughts effectively. Engage in conversation with the interviewer and seek guidance when needed.
Understanding programming languages and their abbreviations is crucial. Make sure you understand the meanings behind any acronyms to avoid hiccups during the interview.
Consider recording yourself and then taking the time to review the playback. As you watch, keep an eye out for instances where you might need to be over-explaining or provide more detail.
Additionally, pay attention to any sections where you might be lingering too long or not dedicating enough time. By pinpointing your strengths and weaknesses, you can direct your efforts more effectively during practice sessions.
If you forget a specific syntax, acknowledge it and use symbols or annotations as placeholders. Demonstrating your logical reasoning and problem-solving abilities is key.
Rather than admitting defeat with an "I don't know," take a moment to formulate a practical approach. For factual queries, consider saying, "I can't recall that off the top of my head. " This indicates your ability to retrieve information if the resources are provided.
To excel in a whiteboarding interview, keep these pieces of advice in your mind:
Whiteboarding interviews are an integral part of the tech industry's hiring process. Feeling pressure during a whiteboard challenge is quite normal. Preparing effectively, practicing regularly, and refining your problem-solving will improve your chances of success in these assessments.
Remember that perfection isn't what the interviewers seek; they want to see your methodology. So, avoid getting caught up and wasting time pondering the perfect idea.
Use these tips to elevate your interview game today, and watch your whiteboarding skills soar!
Created by industry experts